February 5, 2013
River City, Iowa — a Main Street, U.S.A., hamlet created as the setting for Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” — is almost home for performer Josh Feinsilber.
The fledgling actor and Pacific Cascade Middle School sixth-grader portrayed shy Winthrop Paroo in a July 2012 youth production at Village Theatre and is poised to return to stage in the role as The 5th Avenue Theatre rolls out “The Music Man” on Feb. 7.
Josh, 12, is eager to slip into the role again after a turn in Village Theatre’s “Fiddler on the Roof” — a record-setting smash for the Issaquah playhouse.
January 1, 2013
Hal Hefner is accustomed to high school’s indignities and perils.
Besides a tumultuous home life, high school presents a treacherous gauntlet for Hal, a stutterer. The clumsy attempts at romance, friendship and, importantly, earning a spot on the debate team form the plot for “Rocket Science” — a musical created for youth performers and set to open at Village Theatre’s First Stage Theatre on Jan. 5.
The decision to present “Rocket Science” — a musical fostered on the Village Theatre stage in the Festival of New Musicals — is not rocket science, cast members and the director said.
The piece is written specifically for teenagers. “Rocket Science” marks the first time KIDSTAGE performers presented a musical from the festival. The show also marks the debut for the “Rocket Science” musical.
October 16, 2012
Performers in Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE program plan to sing to raise money for the youth education effort.
Sing It Forward includes a benefit concert from young performers in the KIDSTAGE and Village Theatre Institute programs. The program includes a benefit concert at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 and a pizza party at 6 p.m. Oct. 21.
The benefit concert is meant for patrons 21 and older; the pizza party is more casual and open to all ages. Both events take place at Village Theatre’s First Stage Theatre, 120 Front St. N.
Tickets for the benefit concert cost $100. Tickets for the pizza party cost $40 for general admission and $20 for youth admission. Learn more at www.villagetheatre.org/SIF-Issaquah.php.
September 11, 2012
Skyline High School junior Brendan Rosell grew up on the theater stage.
From dance classes through Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE program to starring roles in school plays, Rosell seized any local opportunity to perform for an audience.
“I’ve grown up in the performing arts community,” he said. “My mother was a dancer and performing has always been such an enriching thing for me.”
Now, Rosell, 16, will participate in his biggest performance yet when he joins Seattle Musical Theatre’s production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” beginning Sept. 14 at Magnuson Park in Seattle.
Based on the 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon, “Legally Blonde: The Musical” incorporates singing and dancing to the story about a sorority girl who attends Harvard Law School to try and impress her ex-boyfriend.
The show’s original run on Broadway in 2007 received seven Tony Award nominations.
July 24, 2012
“The Music Man” rolls onto the Village Theatre stage soon as young performers conjure Americana, circa 1912, and upend small-town life after a con man comes to town.
“The Music Man” follows slick, silver-tongued Harold Hill, a con man posing as a bandleader to sell band instruments and uniforms to the unknowing population of River City, Iowa, and then skip town with the money.
The hitch in Hill’s scheme is Marian Paroo, River City’s prim-and-proper librarian and piano teacher. Paroo starts to uncover the deceit just as she falls for the con man.
KIDSTAGE performers present “The Music Man” as a SummerStock production from July 28 to Aug. 5 at the Frances J. Gaudette Theatre, or Mainstage.
Under the guidance of professionals, cast members between ages 8 and 18 perform. The orchestra includes advanced student musicians, too.
July 3, 2012
Others ended up relegated in history textbooks. Charles Guiteau and Leon Czolgosz faded into the footnotes.
Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme and Sara Jane Moore turned into comedians’ punch lines after botched assassination attempts.
The assassins — and wannabe assassins — of presidents occupy a strange place in U.S. history. The cadre is reviled and, in some cases, forgotten.
Not in “Assassins” — a Stephen Sondheim musical about the strange group. The show opens at Village Theatre’s First Stage Theatre on July 13.
The dark musical is the latest offering from KIDSTAGE, the long-running youth education program at Village Theatre.
The show is designed, directed and performed by high school and college-age students. Though professional mentors offer guidance, “Assassins” is managed from opening number to curtain call by student-actors in the program.
April 17, 2012
In the can-do universe of Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!” is the mantra.
The latest “think” from the KIDSTAGE program at Village Theatre is “Seussical Jr.” — a musical based on the poetic pulses and colorful characters of Dr. Seuss, a.k.a. Theodor Seuss Geisel.
The musical debuts at First Stage Theatre a little more than a month after students in Issaquah and around the globe celebrated 100 years since Geisel’s birth March 2. The film adaptation of the seminal Dr. Seuss tale “The Lorax” opened the same day.
So, as Dr. Seuss re-enters pop culture in grand fashion, young performers at Village Theatre started rehearsals on Geisel’s birthday.
April 17, 2012
Some teenage performers need audiences to go to Urinetown.
No, Urinetown is not a real place, at least not outside of a satirical musical with the same name.
Andrew Gryniewicz, a Sammamish Plateau resident and student at Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, plays the psychopath Hot Blades Harry in the show.
(Gryniewicz starred as Edna in the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE production of “Hairspray” last summer.)
The drama program at Gryniewicz’s school is presenting “Urinetown” the musical from April 27-29 at The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle. Tickets cost $15 to $28. Call 877-784-4849 toll free or go to www.stgpresents.org.
In “Urinetown,” a prolonged drought has caused a water shortage and a soulless corporation controls all toilets. Citizens must relieve themselves in public restrooms. Violators get sent to a penal colony called — you guessed it — Urinetown.
April 10, 2012
The young performers in the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE program look to Dr. Seuss for inspiration in “Seussical Jr.”
The musical runs April 13-29 at the First Stage Theatre, 120 Front St. N. Tickets cost $14 to $16. Call 392-2202 or go to www.villagetheatre.org.
The writers behind the landmark musical “Ragtime” created “Seussical Jr.” — a shorter version of “Seussical,” a onetime Broadway show based on the characters created by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.
“Seussical Jr.” features cherished characters, such as the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie LaBird and Whos aplenty. The musical styles in the show include a cornucopia — funk, gospel, Latin, pop, R&B and swing.
March 20, 2012
Performers from the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE program plan to join singers from the Seattle Men’s Chorus and the Seattle Women’s Chorus to present a concert to Seattle-area children and family members March 31.
See 20 or so KIDSTAGE performers ages 11-19 join the choruses on stage for a free hourlong performance at 2 p.m. at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle.
Before the concert, KIDSTAGE is offering free hands-on workshops at 1 and 1:30 p.m. for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Find the workshop space in McCaw Hall’s upper lobby in the Norcliffe and Allen event rooms. Call 206-388-1400 for reservations.